Tuesday, July 28, 2015


it's so fun to be able to say, "yes!" as a mom, right?? we have to say "no" so often.

last friday, i said "yes" when they asked to go to the "fun" pool at the gym. and i said, "yes" when levi asked to go down the slide (he had never been before...but he's swimming SO much better that i knew he'd be fine!)

i like myself as a mom so much better in the summer. and i need to evaluate that and figure out why that is and how to make it be a year-round thing. i think part of it has to do with less schedules and more sleep. hmmm.... {i'm NOT homeschooling all my kids! believe me, i've thought about it. but i do NOT think that's the answer...}

sawyer's 7!

july 22 was sawyer's birthday. (it's birthday after birthday around here in the summer! we have a 1 month break until the girls birthdays at the end of the summer...)

he said he wanted a "soccer cake". so i delivered :-) i really, really enjoy making cakes! who knew?!?
 it was a sweet day celebrating him. he's so easy to please and he just loves life.

this is what i wrote on instagram ON his birthday: "

He's 7!!! I was telling my sister over vacation that I feel like his life is the only one I've truly enjoyed every minute. I had no idea what I was doing when Rebekah was born...when Joshua was born, he was so easy and I appreciated that but was dealing with a strong willed 2/3 year old , Bailey then came really soon after as I had 3 kids 4 and under...it was hard to enjoy anything! By the time Sawyer was born almost 3 years later, I knew the newborn/baby/toddler phases would go by ohsoquickly. I soaked up every moment. And then Lincoln and Levi joined our family, and the beauty of the bond that is just naturally there with Sawyer became that much more precious. Each and every child is a gift. I love them so much. But God knew just what I needed with Sawyer Patrick Cassada and He lavished it on so beautifully in his life!

he got a fishing rod for one of his gifts. and joshua LOVED taking him to our neighborhood pond to try it out the next day.

Friday, July 24, 2015

lincoln is 8!

birthdays are so fun. fun to celebrate the person that was born on that very day. and we sure do enjoy celebrating around here!

but birthdays for lincoln and levi are hard. i don't remember their birth story to talk about it with them (like i do with the other kids) because i wasn't there! and that makes me sad. birthdays are hard for them. it's hard to really put it into words that make sense, but any adoptive mom "gets" it - the kids spirits just don't handle that day (and the days leading up to it...and the days following it) well. we have to downplay their birthdays a bit, for their sakes, and it's all just kinda hard. i have to make his cake when he's sleeping because, well, FOOD. and we can't ask him what he wants for his gifts because he'll say something crazy like, "a phone. my own ipad" vs "a soccer ball" (which is what sawyer asked for.) lincoln got a ripstick (skateboard kinda thing) which he LOVES and we were so happy to give him! he has the determination to figure it out...and it's fun to watch him play with it!

the first year lincoln was home, he ruined and sabotaged everyone ELSE'S birthday...and we are past that, which we are ALL so thankful for!

this boy is SO worth celebrating. his life has been used by God in so many ways already in his 8 short year. we can't wait to see what the year ahead holds for him.

the smith's visit!

during the adoption process, we "met" a few families that were also adopting from rwanda and we've kept in touch. many we've never met in person. we just know each other through blogs and emails (and texts and phone calls). the smith's were one of those families...until last week! now we know them for REAL! :-)

we got back from the beach saturday afternoon. and they flew in monday afternoon.

but first. monday lunch. i'm trying to detox from all the fun vacation ice cream with this lunch. we sit down to eat. and pray. and RIGHT after i finish praying, sawyer throws up all over his lap. it was like a movie. he'd only had water to drink and it ALL came up...splashing and spewing everywhere. i ran to get a bucket. rebekah, joshua and bailey ran out of the room. and lincoln and levi sat there and ate their sandwiches!! (one of those things that i will just never understand?!?) so...i had to text ashley (smith) and tell her we might have a sick kid?? {turns out he wasn't. he had some other things going on in his belly...}
but the smiths were brave and still came. and i'm sure glad they did!!! kaylee is their oldest daughter and is rebekah's age. we had a blast taking them to the farm...and going for walks...and just hanging out.
i could NOT get over all the things that are so similar between our lincoln and their grace (adopted from rwanda). it was just amazing to talk through everyday life things with ashley.
they were here for 3 days. one of the nights they went to a taylor swift concert.

and that was rebekah's night to make dinner here for us. she went all out! even had dessert...
dinner. the drink was a watermelon-strawberry slushie!
then we had a baseball game. and maybe rebekah had a basketball game? it was a crazy day.
that afternoon i had to take sawyer to the doctor. and it was a bit traumatic. we were both fragile and my mind and heart were worried about what was really going on with his body. at the game, he sat like this for a LONG time. it was just what my heart needed. {we have since gotten results and things are ok. there could have been WAY worse results. turns out we just need to clear some things out of his system. but it's going to take awhile...and the process isn't the most pleasant :/}
the smith's were so great to have around! they were so easy-going and fun to get to know! AND it was kaylee's birthday...so we got to celebrate her, too!

Thursday, July 23, 2015


we watched the movie, Rudy, together as a family. they've seen it before. it's such a good movie. but it brought out the arm bands and mouth guards for a couple days :-)

we're 17

the day we got home from the beach (july 11) was our anniversary...17 years!

we somehow managed to drive hundreds of miles home, get unpacked and ready for sunday and sneak out for a dinner just the 2 of us! it's now 11 days later...and it's a very sweet memory. i'm so thankful that this man chooses to love me everyday...because i'm sure it's not easy!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

his turn

every tuesday night (that we are in town) a different kid helps me make dinner. they make the menu. we make the food together.

last night was his turn. macaroni and cheese, fruit kabobs, and smores for dessert. ha! at least no one complained about dinner ;-)